What Happens to my Provisional Licence When I Pass?

When you pass the driving test, the examiner will issue you with a test pass certificate which entitles you to drive without supervision. The examiner will also keep hold of your provisional driving licence and send it back to the DVLA who will then issue you with your full driving licence.

Keep your test pass certificate safe as it can be used for evidence that you have passed the driving test. You can usually expect your full licence to arrive in the post within three weeks.

Can I Keep my Provisional Licence?

Yes, you can keep your provisional driving licence after passing the test and send it to the DVLA yourself if you prefer. Some individuals prefer to keep hold of their provisional driving licence because they’re not sure where they want the new full licence to be sent, or for other reasons such as the photo needs updating or they need to keep the licence for identification.

Sometimes examiners forget to ask if you would like to keep hold of your provisional and return it yourself to the DVLA. If they don’t mention it, state to the examiner that you want to keep hold of your provisional and they’ll hand it back to you.

It is important however that you send your provisional licence to the DVLA within two years. If you don’t, you’ll have to take the driving test again. The test pass certificate that the examiner issues you is only valid for two years.

Applying for your Full Driving Licence

To exchange your provisional driving licence for a full licence, you’ll need to fill in the declaration on your driving test pass certificate and send it along with your provisional licence to:

SA99 1BN

If you’ve changed your name, you’ll also need to fill in a the form ‘D1 – application for a driving licence’, which can be obtained from most Post Offices and provide original documents confirming your identity. If you are updating a photo that is different to your provisional licence, send it along with your application – a fee will apply.

4 thoughts on “What Happens to my Provisional Licence When I Pass?”

  1. Hi,
    Is it possible to keep my Practical Driving Test Pass Certificate and still apply for a full licence by only returning my provisional licence to the DVLs?
    Thank you

  2. Hello there,

    I passed today and my examiner never asked for my provisional licence but said “your licence will arrive withing 20 days”.

    So I have my pass Certificate AND my provisional.

    Now, I am stuck not knowing what to do.

    Any advice or help would be really appreciated!


    1. Hi Jay,
      Congratulations on passing your driving test.

      Sounds like the examiner forgot to ask for it.
      I’m not sure if the DVLA will issue your licence without having received your provisional. You may have to apply for your full licence yourself.
      You are a full licence holder, so can legally drive without supervision.
      You have 2 years to apply for your full licence. If you fail to apply for it within the two years, you’ll have to take the test again.
      For information on how to apply, see getting your full driving licence.

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